Mafia: Definitive Edition, a remake of the 2002 game Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, plunges you right into the world of organized crime. It’s a dangerous and daring place to be, full of all kinds of characters, many of which you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of. In the first instalment in the Mafia trilogy, you step into the shoes of Tommy Angelo, as he unexpectedly finds himself getting involved in the Salieri crime family. From that moment on, his life becomes one of danger and adventure, whilst dealing with all manner of people. He makes new allies, as well as foes, but as the story goes on, he learns that not everyone is as they seem.
With a game complete with so many rich characters that bring Tommy’s story to life, we take a look at the biggest characters in Mafia: Definitive Edition.
The characters in the list have not been put in order of ranking. Be aware that spoilers of the game’s story lie ahead.
1. TOMMY ANGELO
Naturally, as the protagonist of Mafia: Definitive Edition, you see the story through the eyes of Tommy Angelo. He starts off as a cabbie in Lost Heaven (a fictional city inspired by Chicago) until he has a chance to encounter one fateful night with Paulie and Sam. After seeing what benefits being in the family can bring him, Tommy decides that he wants in. He is soon invited to join the family by Don Salieri.
Tommy works his way up, proving himself and his loyalty time and time again, impressing his fellow gangsters and Don Salieri. His life becomes considerably more interesting after joining the Salieri family. He has to carry out many jobs, usually resulting in violence and even murder. It’s not always stressful though. He gets many exciting jobs, such as filling in as a racing driver. Tommy also meets his future wife Sarah, who works at Salieri’s bar.
Tommy is hesitant at times to kill and is unnerved by what he witnesses during his time as a mob member. At one point, Tommy makes a horrible mistake when he has the wrong person killed with a car bomb. He is clearly very shaken by this, calling Vincenzo in a panic. Tommy will gun down mooks and bad guys, but he will not slaughter an innocent person.
Working with the Salieri family may not be morally right, but Tommy isn’t afraid to make the right decision. When Frank and Paulie want to leave their life of crime behind, he willingly helps them. Tommy might be willing to please Don Salieri, but that doesn’t stop him from going behind his back to help his friends.
When Paulie and Frank are killed under Salieri’s orders, Tommy wastes no time in getting revenge. It’s at this point that he realizes what he’s got himself into. Not only does he want out, but he wants to make sure that Salieri can’t bring harm to anyone else.
To ensure the safety of his family, Tommy consults with Detective Norman, as seen in the intro and during intermissions throughout the game, spilling the beans on the Salieri mob. He succeeds, sending Salieri down, but it means sacrificing himself, having to spend 8 years in prison. That’s not the only sacrifice Tommy has to make though.
Tommy’s final moment as an older man is an act of sacrifice. When he hears the hitman Vito Scaletta say his name, he knows what’s coming next. But he doesn’t try to run, nor does he put up a fight. He just stands there, ready to meet his long-awaited fate. He does all this, just to protect his family from the life he got himself into all those years ago. If that isn’t the ultimate sacrifice, then what is?
Tommy Angelo is one of those protagonists who even after mixing with a shady crowd, still knows when to do the right thing, and isn’t afraid to put his loved ones first.
2. PAULIE LOMBARDO
Tommy’s first encounter with the Salieri mob is when he meets Paulie and Sam. Both men end up being close friends with Tommy, but Paulie in particular. Paulie is one of those classic mobsters, a tough guy who isn’t afraid to carry out orders. He has many flaws, such as losing his temper at times and falling foul of the bottle. Paulie’s not exactly a good guy, but there’s something about him that makes you can’t help but like him.
Paulie does have a surprising side to him though. A weary Paulie reveals that he has grown tired of the life of crime. Tommy aids him with a bank robbery behind Salieri’s back, to fund his escape. When Salieri finds out though, he has Paulie killed. Paulie’s death comes as a blow, as he is quite a likeable guy and a great companion of Tommy’s. Paulie’s death is so shocking, we’re spurred on to go after the people responsible.
3. SAM TRAPANI
Sam forms a close bond with Tommy and Paulie. While Paulie is more jovial (yet hot-headed at times), Sam is cooler and aloof. He’s also reportedly a bit of a lady’s man (which isn’t that surprising, with his good looks and suaveness).
Sam is very loyal to Don Salieri and does anything that is required… even if it means betraying and killing his own friends. He is forced by the Don to kill Paulie after the latter becomes a liability. Sam also lures Tommy to the city’s art gallery, in order to execute him as well. Although he may come across as being a bit cold, Sam’s betrayal comes as a bit of a shock, as he was so close to Tommy and Paulie. He was close to the Don too though. When he’s given an order, he’s not going to refuse.
The final mission in Mafia: Definitive Edition has Tommy going after Sam in the vast art gallery. We may not have had the chance to have a personal final showdown with Salieri himself, but to have a showdown with a traitorous and murderous former friend…? That is tougher than a fierce fight with a powerful mob boss and his small army of mooks.
4. DON SALIERI
The big man who Tommy and the others in the Salieri family report to. You may feel nervous whenever you hear the name Don Salieri at the beginning, but when Tommy gets to meet him in person, Salieri comes across as rather a pleasant and amicable man. It quickly becomes clear from the moment you meet him that he runs the whole show, and his word is final.
He may seem nice enough, but he is not somebody you want to get on the wrong side of. When Salieri talks about getting revenge and teaching wrongdoers a lesson, he shows a more ruthless side. Upsetting him may not result in death, but there are fates worse than that.
Even though he is a crime boss, he comes across as unusually likeable… that is until he orders the death of Frank Colletti. It’s at this point where Tommy starts to question the Don and go against his orders, despite the consequences of doing so. We see further troubling behavior from Salieri, such as when he smashes a man’s head after ruthlessly stamping on it. As the story goes on, we start to see Salieri for the man he really is.
When all is over, Tommy sets out to take Salieri and his criminal activities down, and succeeds… but it’s Salieri who gets the last word when Tommy’s betrayal catches up with him in his old age. Salieri proves that he is the most powerful man in the game, and isn’t hesitant to remind anyone who doubts him.
5. FRANK COLLETTI
As Don Salieri’s advisor, Frank Colletti is a surprisingly powerful man. Often seen by Salieri’s side, he is usually shown as being calm and intelligent, and someone who is treated with respect. At first sight, Frank may seem intimidating, particularly as he’s so close with the Don, but this isn’t the case. He’s a very affable man that you can warm up to.
However, like the other members of the Salieri mob, there’s another side to Frank. While we may think that he and Salieri have a good relationship, we learn that in the past, Frank had a race dog that he and Salieri used to bet on. When the dog became pregnant, Salieri tried to have her killed, but Frank forcibly stopped him. Frank is not only able to stand up to his friend, but he also admits that he doesn’t trust him.
Frank also isn’t afraid of betrayal. Midway through the story, Frank goes missing, along with the Salieri accounts book. Upon learning that Frank is a mole, Salieri orders Tommy to execute Frank. Tommy chases after Frank, reaching him just as he’s about to board a plane at the airport. An uncharacteristically broken-looking Frank reveals that he was blackmailed into revealing the family’s secrets, in exchange for his and his wife and daughter’s safety.
Tommy takes pity on him and lets him go. His escape doesn’t last though, as later, Frank is found and assassinated. It seems that Frank is more like Tommy than we initially thought. Like Tommy, Frank puts his family’s safety first, but tragically, his betrayal eventually catches up with him.
6. SARAH ANGELO
There are few female characters in Mafia: Definitive Edition, but they are important to the story and the actions behind the main characters. Tommy first notices Sarah after the big race he takes part in. Later, Tommy is asked to escort Sarah home, and the two begin to bond. Tommy and Sarah have to deal with some thugs who keep harassing her. Tommy has to defend her, but Sarah’s not a complete damsel-in-distress. She’s not afraid to defend herself, with her cutting tongue and raising her fists to any brutes who comes onto her.
Sarah is a tough cookie. She’s been working at Salieri’s bar alongside her father since she was young. Her mother was also an abusive alcoholic. She doesn’t get involved with the gang’s activities, but she is still a part of the Salieri family. After learning of how she was harassed by a bunch of thugs, Salieri orders his men to teach them a lesson. Salieri wants them to know that no one messes with Sarah.
Later in the game, Sarah marries Tommy, and they have children together. While she may not always approve of Tommy’s involvement with the mob, she doesn’t nag at him. Tommy will do anything to protect her and their children, allowing himself to spend some time in prison so that Salieri can be put away behind bars and his empire taken down. She proves to be a very loving and loyal wife, and when Tommy meets his ultimate fate, she is still faithfully by his side.
7. DON MORELLO
Don Morello is the head of the rival Morello family gang. He is initially portrayed as the main antagonist of Mafia: Definitive Edition. He is Salieri’s rival and appears to be more powerful, with the Lost Heaven police in his back pocket.
When we first see Morello in action, we see what a monster he really is, when he ruthlessly beats a man to death right in broad daylight in the street with a tire iron, because the man-made the mistake of getting mad at the Don for running into the back of his car. Even two police officers, who witness the whole event, don’t try and stop him!
Morello does meet his end though, showing that while he might be a powerful mob boss, he isn’t immortal. You’d think that with his death, everyone’s troubles would be over… except it’s not. You think the Salieri’s can run their empire in peace, but that isn’t the case, as it turns out there are problems much closer to home to deal with.
8. SERGIO MORELLO
The rather unpleasant younger brother of Don Morello. If you’ve seen what Don Morello is like, his brother Sergio is no better. He’s an important member of the Morello clan, being the Morello’s top earner. He controls the unions and oversees the goods being brought in through the city harbour. This is why Salieri is so determined to get rid of him, as it’ll help cripple the Morello’s.
Sergio has many assassination attempts made on him, but he gets away. However, his luck eventually runs out, thanks to Tommy’s determination to finish him off. Tommy hunts him down to a dockyard warehouse, and after a difficult gunfight, Tommy manages to corner him. Sergio is a nasty piece of work, so it’s satisfying to watch Tommy kill him.
His death has consequences, however, as it causes the Salieri’s and Morello’s to go to war. Sergio may not be a Don like his brother, but as his death proves, he is still a prominent character in Mafia: Definitive Edition.
You’re most likely to find Ralph tinkering away in the garage located behind Salieri’s bar. If you need a set of wheels, he’s the man. Ralph may seem intimidated by the likes of Paulie, but he is a valued member of the Salieri family. Tommy treats him with respect, and even Don Salieri is good to him. He may seem a little bumbling, but there’s something about Ralph that makes you like him and want to protect him from Paulie’s bullying.
Ralph may not hold as much prominence as some of the other characters in Mafia: Definitive Edition, but he does prove himself to be useful. Early on, he teaches Tommy how to lockpick cars, something that makes stealing cars much easier than elbow-smashing the window. He also plays an important part in the mission where Tommy competes in a race. He directs Tommy to a friend of his who is able to tamper with their rival’s racing car. His friend, Lucas, is the same person who gives outside missions where you can find and unlock Hidden Vehicles.
When Tommy rats out the Salieri clan, it’s sad to see Ralph getting bundled into a police car. Tommy probably didn’t want to send him down, as it was really only Salieri he was concerned about, but if Salieri was going down, the rest of his mob were going with him.
10. VINCENZO RICCI
While Ralph is the man you want for vehicles, Vincenzo is the one you go calling to if you need weapons. Vincenzo is a cool old guy and is always willing to lend his expertise. He is the one who teaches Tommy how to use a gun near the beginning of the game. Vincenzo supplies you with guns throughout the story, as well as other useful things such as molotovs and baseball bats. He even supplies Tommy with a car bomb to finish off an enemy (the plan fails horribly).
There are times when Vincenzo gets involved with some of the action. In one scene, Sam and Vincenzo are going after Sergio Morello in an intense car chase, where Vincenzo tries to shoot Sergio. He doesn’t succeed, but not from lack of trying. Vincenzo even almost gets a perfect shot in the head at one point, had Sergio not moved his head! This sole scene shows that Vincenzo isn’t afraid of some action, having a lot of determination to finish off a foe.
Because Vincenzo is such a cool old guy, it’s a shame to see him getting arrested at the end of the game, when Tommy exposes the Salieri gang.
SPECIAL MENTION: VITO SCALETTA & JOE BARBARO
We couldn’t end this list without mentioning these two. Vito Scaletta and Joe Barbaro only appear briefly at the very end of the game, but boy do they leave a lasting impression. They’re the ones who are sent to kill an old Tommy Angelo outside his house.
After getting to know (and love) Tommy, you may be forgiven for hating these men for executing a man trying to do good for his family, not to mention playing as him for the whole game. However, that changes when you get to play as Vito Scaletta in Mafia II, following his adventures with Joe by his side. For Vito and Joe, it’s just another day at work.
That completes the top 10 characters in Mafia: Definitive Edition. One of the things you’ll discover from playing this game is that everyone has something to hide. You believe that someone is unquestionably loyal, only to be proven wrong. You think you have a character all figured out, only for them to go and do something unexpected. Then again, this is a game about a criminal family, so you should be prepared for some surprises.